How to Tire Out Your Toddler

Kids are the ultimate energy drainers . . . of their parents! If you have a tot then you can relate. It’s mind boggling how these tiny beings can contain so much energy as you quickly lose yours while trying to keep up. Likewise, getting them to settle down can be just as tedious. Here are some tips on how to tire out your toddler so come bedtime, it’s not a power struggle to get them down for the count.

wild kids

A day at the park or even in the backyard on a bright, sunny day is a great way to let them exhaust all of that energy and get much needed exercise. What do you do on busy days or when the weather is not so permitting? These indoor activities are a sure-fire way to not only keep the little ones entertained, they’ll use up that pent up energy in a way that won’t drive you nuts!

Homemade Stilts
tin can stiltsThis is a fun and creative way to keep your little ones off of the couch watching TV all day. Save large tin cans, such as coffee cans, to make your child their own pair of stilts. Use a punch-style can opener to make holes on each side of the bottom of the can to run a nylon or some type of strong-material string through. Cut the string approximately 60 inches or accordingly to your child’s height then make a knot. Your child can stomp around with them by placing each foot on top of the can and holding onto the strings! Get creative and let them decorate the cans with elephant toe nails or giraffe hooves.

Hide and Seek
All little children love the game of running and hiding from parents (especially when they’re in trouble). This is a fun game to play with your kids or if they’re old enough, to play with each other. Not only is it a fun game to play, but it can help them learn the basic skill of object permanence. Just be sure to ward off any unwanted hiding places that could be dangerous, like the dryer.

Let Them Dance!dancing with kids
If ever there was a sure way to tire out your toddler, it’s letting them dance. Put on a little dancing party with your wild party animals. Turn on some favorite tunes and let them go wild. You can also join in on the fun with children’s games like the hokey pokey. Do the twist and get on down to groove. Did you know that dancing can be a great stress reducer!? It’s great exercise for you and them that is sure to make everyone smile.

Build a Fort
Give your kids some basic materials like blankets and sheets, chairs, sofa cushions, etc. to build a fort without them turning the house upside down. They’ll have so much fun putting it together and it gives them their own ‘secret’ place to play. Playing in a fort engages a child’s basic building skills as well as imaginative play. Turn up the fun with glow sticks and flash lights and cut out the lights!

Dress Up
What little girl doesn’t enjoy a nice game of dress up? Give them some play clothes, old costumes, or even stuff from your own closet like scarves, shoes, etc. and let them go wild with their own outfit designs. Boys can take part on the action too with some of Dad’s old ties, hats, etc. Put on a fashion show for them to come out and show off their crazy ensembles.

Make a Game of Clean Up
If you own a Swiffer mop your kids will have a blast! There’s something about the way it glides across the floor that kids just find simply amusing. What better way to get your toddler to help out with chores? Give them a swiffer and let them go crazy sweeping it across the floor. If you don’t have a mop, use a broom. Make a square out of tape on the floor (use one that will come off easily without leaving residue like painter’s tape) and have them sweep up as much as they can into the square.

Let them take part in spring cleaning by having them choose old toys they no longer play with or want and have them put them in a garage sale or donate. A fun way to get them to do this is by playing store – give them a box for their shopping cart and they have to pick out X number of things they don’t want any more. This is also a great way to help them count. If they can’t count yet, count out how many toys they’ve put in their box.

There are many fun games and activities that can help tire out your toddler while playing indoors to use up all that energy and keep them occupied. If nothing else, give them interactive video games that get them moving or encourage them to play and dance along to their favorite TV show or movie. They’ll have fun and will be good and tired by the time bed time rolls around. Just be sure to have some quiet activities close to bed time so they aren’t overly wound up.

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